Small occurrences, chance occasions, words spoken in passing loom large in my sifting through loss. It is not the big events that pass before me now. What I thought would be memorable moments subside. I seem to gravitate to the serendipitous scenes of simplicity. The mere sound of their voices leaves me in warm longing. The reading of a bedtime book brightens today with its still glowing embers. Her glance across a crowded room and the undertone of knowing rests within my remembrance.

Benjamin July 7 Depths of lifeWhat I miss most are the little things. I miss rocking Bryan, the touch my lips on his head as he lay upon my chest. I miss the playground and the tire swing where Matt and I would play the game of going out into the stars as he twirled in sheer blissful laughter. I miss watching sunsets and rainbows with Lydia, soundlessly in nature’s symphony.

We knew they were to die for a long time. We did so many big things to cram life into such a small space. I could tell you the places we went, the things we experienced, the great events we shared, but if you could look into my eyes you would see the reflection of tender moments that rose from the ordinary and have left an extraordinary trace.

When every moment matters life takes on a different texture. I was absolutely overwhelmed with love watching my child watch cartoons. A grilled cheese sandwich became a banquet of pure pleasure. And a sunset shared with Lydia told us how much was done, how much was undone, and how another day gone was leading us to a day when all would be gone.

And now that they are gone, I am left with the little things, the precious moments that fill the expanse of my loss and tenderly hold me in my emptiness.

The greatest miracles are the small ones. I prayed for a cure. I prayed for a miracle that they would not die. But what I found was miracles did not come for us in large packages that defied gravity. Miracles came in the shape of seconds cascading into moments. Miracles came camouflaged as mundane moments that burst into memorable moments of extraordinary proportions.

Benjamin July 7 Little things matterOne of the many gifts Lydia, Matt and Bryan gave me was how to see beyond the ordinary. Behind the curtain of the commonplace is an extraordinary dance.

I absorbed every moment I shared with them. Every moment was filled and emptied filling again and again. For I knew what was to ultimately empty. I knew what I was to lose. I was aware of the perpetual precariousness we lived with and the fragility of each moment. I was deeply cognizant that one day there would be no more days.

And when night descended upon day, the candle’s flame was a dance of extraordinary moments embedded in ordinary lives living in monumental motion. I would sit nightly after Matt went to bed cataloguing every moment. I would relive our day wanting to never forget what just passed and what was never to come again. I would relive the miracle of another day.

It was the ordinary miracles that mattered to me. It was the look of love in his eyes, the tender words passing between us, his hardheadedness and the time outs we both had to endure, the tears he cried for his mother, for his brother, for his own life… These were the miracles that we lived. These are the miracles I’ll never forget.

I did not take loss lightly. I do not take life lightly. Nothing passes my consciousness that doesn’t bear the mark of life and loss. I travel each moment in the midst of the miraculous. Loss has taught me that there is more to life. Life has taught me that there is more to loss.

Benjamin July 7 little thingsIt takes a lot to swim the depths of life. Loss refuses to let me skim through the shallow waters. Deep calls to deep. The depths of life are not found on the surface masquerading as the ordinary. The extraordinary is discovered by going within each precious moment into the deep, into the miracle.

After they had all died, I found myself in the abyss of loss. My life had ended, but I was left breathing. I was neither dead nor alive. All I had left was the yesterdays that engulfed each day.

It was then that I decided I would go as deep into the experience of grief as my sorrow would take me. I would lean into everything to see if anything was left. I would question everything and be willing to accept what answers came, even willing to accept that in many cases there were no answers. Still, I questioned. I searched every moment, every feeling no matter how ominous, every piece of my brokenness was held with tenderness.

The beginning of my search took me to all those ordinary moments that expanded into the extraordinary. I would sink deep into memory and rise into the expanse. Meaning transcended both loss and life. I have come to a place of peace living with loss, in loss and beyond loss.

Benjamin July 7 More to lifeAnd what I found is what I find. It’s the little things that matter. It’s a kind word, a tender touch, the sound of a sunset silently slipping into night. It is the miracle of this ordinary moment that matters. I am so grateful they left me the little things. For the ordinary moments are the most extraordinary gifts this world has ever given me.


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